Special session call is about ego, not issues

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 1999

The spitting match between Mississippi’s lame-duck governor and its legislature has gotten out-of-hand.

In an election year that found lawmakers ducking the controversial – and arguably important – issues in favor of pork barrel projects and relatively &uot;safe&uot; legislation, the juvenile standoff between the executive and legislative branches continues.

On Wednesday, Gov. Kirk Fordice called senators back to the capitol next month to consider one issue in a special session: the appointment of Mike Marsh to the Workers Compensation Committee. Fordice nominated Marsh, along with one other member, during the 1999 legislative session, which ended Wednesday.

Email newsletter signup

Senators, who have to approve all of the governor’s appointments, confirmed the other nomination but refused to vote on Marsh, citing a history of tax liens in his business dealings.

That didn’t satisfy Fordice, whose ego battles with key lawmakers seem to drive his decisions more often than common sense.

So, ignoring senators’ vows that they won’t appoint Marsh and, more important, a 1996 court case – which resulted from a similar battle over confirmations – he reappointed Marsh to a six-year term and ordered senators back to work in May to confirm the appointment. The outcome of that special session is already decided. Lawmakers say they won’t – and because of the outcome of that 1996-inspired court case, can’t – approve the appointment of Marsh.

And guess who’ll end up paying the bill at the end of that special session?

The taxpayers, of course.

It’s ridiculous that our governor, whose term ends this year, seems so set on getting his way that he’s willing to pursue this appointment – at whatever cost. Certainly, he has lost his perspective on what’s in the best interests of the taxpayers and voters in Mississippi.

That’s not new with Gov. Fordice.

But it’s a shame.

Because we expect our elected officials to be above the proverbial spitting matches.

Once again, they’re falling short of our expectations.